To qualify as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale, maximum sustained winds must exceed 155 mph (135 kt). Through 2008, only 32 Atlantic storms have reached this intensity. 2005 was by far the most popular year for Category 5 storms, with Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma (of course, 2005 was a record year in many respects [Wikipedia]). A complete list of Category 5 storms throughout history can be found on Wikipedia.
The Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale is a categorical classification of hurricanes based on their wind speed, used by the U.S. government's National Hurricane Center.
To qualify as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale, maximum sustained winds must exceed 155 mph (135 kt).
Hurricanes that have a severe impact on lives or the economy are remembered by generations after the devastation they caused, and some go into weather history.
AccuWeather.com has created a number of specialty maps designed for tracking the progress of tropical storms and hurricanes. Use these maps in conjunction with our Hurricane Position graphic, as well as statements issued by the NHC with storm positions.
Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. In some years, the Philippines are struck by more than 20 tropical storms and typhoons.
Low pressure in the hurricane can act as a plunger, slightly pulling up the water level. However, the components that contribute to the greatest storm surge affect are the winds blowing to the left side of the storm and the topography of the land as the storm makes land fall.